Medical Examiner's Office staff work to ID unidentified remains

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FOX 10 received an inside look at the Maricopa County Medical Examiners Office. There's a special team working to reunite families with the remains of their loved ones.

It's a tough job; there are hundreds of remains that have gone unidentified for decades.

"This is a male who was found in theSuperstition Mountains, he's been shot several times," said Dr. Laura Fulginiti.

There are over 1,300 individuals who have never been identified in the State of Arizona.

"He's about 5'10", between 38-50, and he has some arthritis in his leg, this would all be important in trying to get him identified," said Dr. Fulginiti.

Dr. Laura Fulginiti is a Forensic Anthropologist for the Maricopa County Medical Examiners Office.

"My job here is to provide information for the biological profile of unknown human remains," she said.

Dr. Fulginiti can determine age, sex, and look for any other clues that may help determine who that person was.

"The whole goal of the exercise is to get the person identified and then returned to their loved ones," said Fulginiti.

The information is then put into a database and ran against all missing person cases to see if there are any matches. But as the number of unsolved cases continues to mount in Arizona, the ME's office is now reaching out to the public by holding the Missing in Arizona Program at the end of October.

"Families can come and have a missing persons report taken, check on a missing person report, they can bring dental x-rays, photographs, medical documents, anything we can upload into the database. DNA will also be taken because we will have to have the data taken to make a comparison," said Christen Eggers.

The ultimate goal is giving families closure.

The Missing in Arizona event will be held on October 24, at the ASU West campus. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1587962178154289/

 

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